Impact Of Coronavirus (COVID-19) On Each US State

As more and more states are re-opening daily practises, here is where gambling is at in each state and where the meetings of the General Assembly are since several states discuss sports betting legislation.

Online casino gambling is legal in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. In those States plus Nevada, online poker is legal. West Virginia and Michigan legalised online casinos and later this year aim to have target launch dates.

Social casinos, like Chumba, are legal even in states which prohibit online gaming.

Alabama

CASINOS: The three Alabama casinos in Wind Creek — Atmore, Wetumpka and Montgomery — had a soft reopening on June 4 for small groups of invited guests, followed by the reopening of the public on June 8. New safety and social-distancing programmes include temperature tests for visitors and staff, and everyone wants masks or face coverings. Visitors were asked to bring their own masks, but a small donation to support local first responders, health care providers and COVID patient relief will be made available at the facilities. Casinos limited the number of guests on the floor to approximately one-third of daily operations to manage social distance. Other state casinos have reopened or are getting ready to reopen under an order called “Safer At Home,” which has recently been expanded to include casinos, camps and theatres.

LEGISLATURE: On May 4, the legislature returned to pass the two budgets of the state, and adjourned on May 18. The spending bills were signed on May 18 by Gov. Kay Ivey according to media reports. “While we have yet to know the full impact of COVID-19 on our state, these budgets will ensure continuity of government, while being fiscally responsible,” Ivey said in a statement. According to the Associated Press, two gambling issues — establishing a state lottery and allowing the Creek Indians’ Poarch Band to have casinos — did not gain traction during the abbreviated legislative session.

Alaska

CASINOS: Alaska is without casinos. State law permits bingo halls and pull-tab games.

LEGISLATURE: Emergency coronavirus law passed by the legislature March 29. According to the Anchorage Daily News, it helps Alaska to tackle health and economic pandemic problems. Entry to the Juneau capital was restricted to senators, employees, officials in the administration and credential media.

Arizona

CASINOS: According to Phoenix ABC affiliate KNXV-TV, Gila River Casinos, which owns Lone Butte, Vee Quiva and Wild Horse Pass casinos, reopened them on July 2 after the casinos closed in mid-June due to coronavirus concerns of the employees. At first, they had reopened on May 15. The company said it was re-examining and strengthening safety procedures at the three casinos during the closure.

Diamond Desert Casinos also closed its Why website over coronavirus problems briefly again after a positive check by an employee. According to media reports, it had not said how long it would be closed.

According to their website, the Navajo Nation has extended the closure of its casino east of Flagstaff, the Twin Arrows Casino, to July 5. “The Navajo Gaming Board of Directors approved the ongoing closure of all its casino facilities through July 5 and will continue team member paid administration leave, to minimise hardships during these difficult times,” said Quincy Natay, Chairman of the Navajo Gaming Board, on the site.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino in Maricopa and Fort McDowell Casino near Fountain Hills reopened on May 15, following strict guidelines for safety and social distancing. The stay-at – home order for Gov. Doug Ducey expired that day.

According to published reports, Talking Stick Resort and Casino Arizona reopened June 1, in Scottsdale. West Valley Casino of Desert Diamond plans to reopen June 5, according to a press release. Other casinos in Desert Diamond will be closed at least until July.

On their website, Bucky’s Casino and Yavapai Casino in Prescott Valley announced they were reopening on June 1. On its website, Mazatzal Hotel & Casino in Payson said it would begin a “phased reopening” on May 21.

LEGISLATURE: Legislative members reconvened May 1 and ended the current session due to coronavirus which had been on recess since March 27. It pushed some pending bills into the next Legislative Session, including sports betting.

Arkansas

CASINOS: A party seeking a constitutional amendment to add 16 casino licences to the Arkansas Racing Commission submitted 97,000 signatures to the Arkansas State Secretary on July 6, the deadline for the November ballot, according to ualrpublicradio.org, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock’s public radio station. The group had to gather 89,151 verified signatures from registered voters, the report said. The state secretary has to check that the signatures come from eligible registered voters. In November, if passed by voters, casino licences would be issued for 16 casinos — two in Pulaski County; two in Crittenden County; and one in 12 other counties each. The state has three casinos licenced for a fourth location in Pope County. Efforts to expand casino numbers have failed in the past.

According to an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the three casinos in the state reopened May 18 under new capacity limits and health guidelines. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said casinos will be limited to one-third of their capacity. As of March 17, the casinos had been closed.

The three Arkansas casino sportsbooks reported a 63 percent drop in the February sports betting handle in March. The $1.59 million cumulative sports betting handle from the Oaklawn Park, Southland, and Saracen casinos in March was a decline of $2.7 million from the sports betting handle for February.

LEGISLATURE: The capital was closed, but the arena of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock was recently convened by the legislature. House representatives adopted the recommendations for social distancing by spreading across the Jack Stevens Center and accepted funding for emergency coronaviruses. On April 8, Hutchinson gave his State of the State address as the house met in the state capital at the Stevens Center and the Senate. Three state lawmakers have tested coronavirus positive.

California

CASINOS: The fantasy sports company Monkey Knife Fight and AEG have reached an agreement with three pro sports teams in the Los Angeles area. According to a press release, Monkey Knife Fight will be the primary fantasy sports partner for Los Angeles Kings of the NHL, and Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS, and an official partner for the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League. In Southern California, MKF also has partnership deals with Los Angeles Chargers of the NFL, and San Diego Padres of the MLB.

According to the San Diego Times, cardroom operators have asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to order tribal casinos as coronavirus cases in the state experience a increase. The California Gaming Association has written a letter to Newsom, pointing out that its July 1 directive closed all the cardrooms in some counties, but not the tribal casinos. Cardrooms and tribal casinos are on opposite sides of many issues related to gambling in California, including sports betting.

An extension has been given to a coalition of California tribes to gain enough signatures to get its sports betting measure on the 2022 election ballot. In a tentative ruling posted on July 1, Superior Court Judge James Arguelles gave the Coalition to Authorize Regulated Sports Wagering to submit signatures until Oct. 12. During a hearing in Sacramento, Arguelles made the ruling official July 2.

According to NBC7 in San Diego, health officials in San Diego County said they are collaborating with tribes to investigate multiple cases of coronavirus that could be linked to some of their nearby casinos. According to Associated Press, Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine reopened May 18. Several casinos have reopened in San Diego County — Sycuan Casino Resort in El Cajon, Jamul Casino in Jamul and Valley View Casino & Hotel near Valley Center. Sycuan reopened May 20; Jamul re-opened May 21; Valley View reopened May 22; Pala Casino Spa & Resort reopened May 22; and Barona Casino & Resort reopened May 27.

Three casinos in the San Francisco area recently reopened, or are preparing to reopen. Graton Resort & Casino reopened on June 18; it was reopened on Facebook by San Pablo Lytton Casino; and reopened on June 29 by River Rock Casino.

According to news accounts, the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians in Southern California reopened Casino Pauma June 12.

Colusa County health officials released a alert on June 5 warning of possible coronavirus contamination at northern California’s Colusa Casino Resort, according to CBS 13. Possible exposure was on June 1.

Many other State casinos have reopened. According to the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino owned by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians reopened June 2 with new health and social distance guidelines in place.

According to their web site, Cache Creek Casino Resort near Sacramento reopened June 8. On the same day three other tribal casinos reopened — Jackson Rancheria, Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, and Placerville ‘s Red Hawk Casino. They’ll have new indicators of wellbeing and social isolation in place. There will be hand sanitisers in the gaming areas and according to media sources, players will have temperature checks and wear face masks.

Several casinos in Southern California reopened May 22. The reopening of the casinos that day — Spotlight 29 Coachella Casino and Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms; and Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa near Cabazon.

On June 1st the Pechanga Tribe reopened the Pechanga Resort Casino, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. The reopening allowed limited gaming.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise has an updated list of casino re-openings in Southern California

LEGISLATURE: State Sen. Bill Dodd removed a constitutional amendment, SCA 6, from being debated on June 23 by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Bloomberg News reported. It possibly moves sports betting regulation to 2023 — if it gets on the 2022 ballot and the electorate support it. Dodd and Assemblyman Adam Gray’s legislation had been confronted at every hearing by resistance from California tribes since it was introduced in May. That’s why the attempt to get the referendum on the ballot ended with Dodd, published June 22 by Chris Palmeri, Los Angeles office chief for Bloomberg News.

The legislature, which had recessed owing to the pandemic, recently returned to work on passing a bill. Gov. Gavin Newsom will get it signed before July.

The original remain in the state in California’s home order has had an impact on the state’s tribes having enough signatures to get a November ballot sports betting measure placed. The tribe needs around one million valid signatures to get the issue on the ballot and the state must validate the signatures. With California residents barred from public interaction, it could be difficult, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, to get the signatures needed for sports betting and other ballot initiatives. Doing not get the initiative on the ballot might potentially lead to a better bill. Mobile sports betting is not permitted under the current law.

Newsom said at a May 18 news conference that the state’s pro sports and sporting activities could return without fans in the first week of June.

Colorado

CASINOS: TheScore received Gaming Laboratories International GLI-33 certification in Colorado on July 14, part of the regulatory approval process needed for permission to provide state-owned sports betting. John Levy, the Score’s founder and CEO, said his firm had also received the same approval in Indiana days earlier.

DraftKings will open Friday at Mardi Gras Casino in Black Hawk a temporary retail sportsbook in Colorado. The temporary sportsbook DraftKings will be housed on the casino’s first floor which is operated by Twin River Holdings. This will be the third retail sportsbook to go live in the state, after on June 15 casinos reopened.

According to the Colorado Restricted Gaming Control Commission website, last week Circa Sports and BetWild joined other online sportsbooks in the State. Circa has a relationship with Century Casinos, a Colorado Springs gaming company that runs casinos in Cripple Creek and Century City as well as others in North America. Circa is not planning to open retail sportsbooks at Colorado casinos, reports The Colorado Springs Gazette. According to published reports, Amelco, a UK gaming firm, helped launch BetWildwood, the first online sportsbook to launch its online betting licence under Wildwood Casino in Cripple Creek.

As originally expected, the State opened its sports betting market as of May 1. Currently up and running sportsbooks in Colorado include BetMGM, BetMonarch (Monarch Casino Resort), BetRivers, BetWild, Circa, DraftKings, FanDuel, FOX Bet, SBK and Sky Ute.

Monarch Casino Blackhawk joined Saratoga Casino Black Hawk as State-operated retail sportsbooks. Recently, Saratoga approved the first retail sports bet on its sportsbook owned by Betfred USA. According to the website of the gaming control board, Monarch is up and running now.

Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has received a Vendor Minor sports betting licence from the Colorado Restricted Gaming Control Commission for its flagship affiliate site WSN.com, the company said in a news release. GiG Media currently operates in seven states.

Betsson, a gaming corporation based in Sweden, announced on June 29 that it has entered into a 10-year sports betting deal with Dostal Alley Casino, a Central City Black Hawk casino. This will be Betsson’s first foray into the growing market for sports betting in the United States.

Casinos at Cripple Creek in Teller County reopened June 15 after obtaining state health officials’ approval. Among the new guidelines: At first only slot machines were available, and customer temperatures were checked. They must wear masks, as well. According to published reports, Gilpin County casinos reopened to long lines on June 17th. A gradual reopening began in the county, home to Black Hawk and Central City, where more than half of the state’s casinos are located. As of mid-March, Colorado casinos had been closed.

According to their website, the Sky Ute Casino Resort has said it will launch the Sky Ute SportsBook, a new mobile sports betting app. The casino is located on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in Ignacio, in the southwest corner of the state. It is believed to be the first sportsbook of Native American origin.

Colorado sportsbooks have seen bettors placed $25.5 million in wagers in their first month, according to an email from the gaming control board. Sports betting went live in the state on May 1 amid shutdown of sports and casinos.

The commission spent almost all of its five-hour meeting on May 21 considering a change to Gaming Regulation 30-1401, the casinos’ tiered tax rate. Members of the Commission heard testimony, among others, from towns facing budget shortfalls due to a reduced rate, and from the Colorado Gaming Association, which said reducing the rate would help the state’s 33 casinos recover from being closed since mid-March. Unanimously, the commission voted to retain the existing tax rate rates for Fiscal Year 2021 while recognising the pain everyone experienced from coronavirus.

According to a press release, Century Casinos, Inc. announced May 19 that it has reached an agreement with bet365 to become the company’s second online sports betting operator partner in the state. Century has a master licence through a subsidiary. Bet365 would require a state gaming board approval.

In a news release on May 19th, International Game Technology (IGT) announced that its PlaySports platform will power retail and mobile sports betting at Wild Card Saloon and Sasquatch Casino in Black Hawk. Ed & Shirley ‘s Inc. owns and runs the two casinos.

An article in the Denver Post reported that the most popular gambling sport among Coloradans since the launch of sports betting was table tennis, which, according to DraftKings data, had the most volume and dollar bets in the first 10 days. According to The Post, UFC was second, followed by Korean football, and Belarus Premier League Soccer.

BonusFinder.com reports that a Colorado licence has been issued. It also operates in New Jersey, Indiana and Pennsylvania.

LEGISLATURE: On May 26, the legislature ended its temporary adjournment and implemented steps of social isolation in the state capitol. The legislative session was adjourned on March 14. The legislature has a state budget to approve. According to the Denver Post, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled April 1, that state legislators do not have to meet during a declared public health emergency for 120 consecutive days.

Connecticut

CASINOS: Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket and Uncasville’s Mohegan Sun Casino had soft reopenings on May 30, two days earlier than they initially scheduled for reopening. Gov. Ned Lamont was on board with their plans, having been at odds with the tribes over the reopening. On May 29, he announced that the casinos “took to heart some of the thoughts we had” and were allowed to reopen early. They reopened June 1, to the public. The casinos had collaborated on new guidelines for social distancing and safety. Hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes in the casinos were widespread and every other slot machine was open to establish sufficient distances between players. As patrons entered the building, body temperatures were checked, and cards were swapped out more frequently at each table.

LEGISLATURE: Lamont has chosen Rob Simmelkjaer, 48, who has spent his career working at NBC Sports and ESPN as the next chairman of the governing board of Connecticut Lottery Corp. Simmelkjaer founded Persona Media, a social media startup based in Norwalk, Connecticut, following the NBC Sports and ESPN.

On 21 April the legislature closed its session early. According to a news release April 13, the state has awarded Scientific Games Corp. a new, five-year contract to serve as the primary instant game provider for Connecticut Lottery. The deal increases the partnership between the company and the state, and becomes the primary provider. Scientific Games has been Connecticut’s provider of instant games for over 40 years, the release said.

Delaware

CASINOS: The iGaming handle of the state dropped by nearly $6 million in June as compared to May, halting the momentum of Delaware in that segment. Delaware had set the iGaming handle status record both in April and May. Still, June ‘s figure of $23,829,573 was the third-best in state history; the last three months were the only ones where $20 million has been cleared for handle. Net income in June was $964,607, down 15 percent from May ‘s record $1,134,900.

According to IGB, Delaware Lottery and online gaming company 888 expanded their iGaming contract by another two years. Through the agreement, which began in 2013, the lottery will deliver a variety of casino and poker games and allow players from Delaware to compete against players from New Jersey and Nevada.

Following new wellness and social-distancing guidelines, casinos reopened on June 1. Stay-at-home order for the state had been in effect until May. According to published reports, casinos had to present a security plan, maintain capacity at 30 percent, provide eight feet between slots and other gaming machines and clean those machines every 15 minutes to two hours. Horse racing tracks were also resumed on June 1, without fans.

While the state has been losing revenue from closed casinos since mid-March, state lottery director Vernon Kirk told Wilmington, Delaware ‘s News Journal that there is no timeline for incorporating mobile sports betting. Kirk said it’s not on the “front burner” of the lottery. Sports betting is available at the three brick-and – mortar casinos — Delaware Castle, Dover Downs and Harrington — but not by smartphone, although it’s legal in the state.

Delaware ‘s report on May iGaming has shown revenue to be $1,134,900. That was an increase of 33 per cent over April’s $856,182, the state ‘s previous high. The May figure was also a year-over-year 262 percent rise from last May’s $313,648, according to the Delaware Lottery, which regulates state gaming. The iGaming handle for May total was $29,485,079, a small improvement over April’s $28,496,616 — which was easily the state’s biggest month.

LEGISLATURE: The primary presidential election, originally scheduled for April 28 but relocated to June 2 due to coronavirus, has now been postponed to July 7, according to WHYY Philadelphia PBS station. The legislature virtually began meeting on May 26; sessions in person were suspended in March.

Florida

CASINOS: On July 2nd, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced that, according to the Miami Herald, casinos, strip clubs, movie theatres and other entertainment venues would have to close after being allowed to open by June 4. He also declared a 10 p.m., due to the spread of coronavirus in the state again. Curfew that begins in town July 3.

The state banned alcohol consumption at bars on June 26, because cases of coronavirus have spiked across Florida. Restaurants can serve alcohol on-site, and bars are allowed to sell alcohol to go, according to state order.

According to Churchill Downs Inc., Calder Casino at Miami Gardens had reopened June 12, while Gulfstream Park reopened its casino on June 18. With new health and social distance guidelines in place, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Seminole Casino Coconut Creek and Seminole Classic Casino reopened in South Florida in mid-June. Within the latest safety measures are temperature checks when entering and facing masks.

Penn National announced the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club has reopened.

Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Poker Room reopened May 21. Since new health and social gap initiatives were adopted by the initial customers, people waited in line until the evening to get into. New rules include providing a 50 percent capacity poker room (23 out of 46 tables); active tables with Plexiglass dividers; games running at a rate of 6 handed; and staff and visitors were forced to wear masks (gloves are optional); and cards and chips were periodically cleaned according to the website of the casino.

Several Florida restaurants and stores were allowed to reopen on May 4 at a rate of 25 percent.

LEGISLATURE: Gov. Ron DeSantis said in mid-May that, according to media reports, professional sports teams are welcome to train and play in Florida — without fans — if they can not conduct practises or games in their own states. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey made the same bid for the pro sports teams earlier that week. Florida has previously hosted fanless outdoor UFC fights.

The legislative session concluded March 13 without the bill on sports betting and without a proposed settlement agreement with the Seminole Tribe, which had paid the state $350 million a year.

Georgia

CASINOS: Georgia is without a casino. According to the Associated Press, the state lottery reached a record with $1.24 billion in income for the fiscal year 2019-20 which ended June 30. Sales dropped in the immediate aftermath of coronavirus but recovered sufficiently to set sales and benefit records for the ninth consecutive year for Georgia. Using an online lottery alternative in April and May helped the state recover its financial footing.

LEGISLATURE: On the last day of the legislature on 26 June, the House refused to take up any of the gaming bills on its agenda. That ends any sports betting potential in Georgia this year. There was some optimism when a bill requesting a state referendum on legalising gambling, horse racing and sports betting in the state was approved by the House Regulated Industries Committee on June 22 according to the Newnan Times-Herald. That came just days after a bill allowing the Georgia Lottery to operate online sports betting was approved by the Senate Special Judiciary Committee on 19 June, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The tax revenue, the paper said, will be earmarked for the state’s HOPE scholarship. The new failure comes after two previous attempts failed earlier this year to pass a sports betting bill. House Resolution 378 would have amended the constitution of the state to allow such forms of sports betting, but the bill never came to a full vote in Parliament. The amendment would have provided for both casino gambling and sports betting, including parimutuals. Senate Bill 403 also dealt with sports betting but also failed to set the deadline for March 12.

Hawaii

CASINOS: Hawaii is not home to casinos.

LEGISLATURE: A stay-at – home order is in effect until May. It was extended in late April by the Governor. Hawaiian lawmakers postponed the legislative session indefinitely on March 17, according to the Associated Press. The recess began on 18 March.

Idaho

CASINOS: The Casino Coeur d’Alene reopened May 1. The Coeur d’Alene tribe started the process on April 27 with a limited opening of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel followed by reopening of the casino. New safety standards have been set in place for casino guests and workers including masks and fewer games. Other tribal agencies and facilities also state their phased re-openings will begin. Several state casinos, including The Nez Perce Tribe expected to operate the Clearwater River and Casinos It’se Ye-Ye, reopened in mid-May.

LEGISLATURE: On 19 March the Senate ended its legislative session. According to the Associated Press, the house concluded its session March 20.

Illinois

CASINOS: On July 15, PointsBet issued a provisional state operating permit, contingent on affiliate Hawthorne Race Course receiving a Master Sports Wagering License, according to a news release from PointsBet.

According to the VIXIO Gambling Compliance website, Rivers Casino has challenged the Illinois Gaming Board ‘s emergency rule which would require co-branding for online sports betting, calling the law unconstitutional. Counsel Paul Gaynor, in the public statement, wrote that according to Gambling Regulation, the Sports Wagering Act forbids co-branding by online-only operators. He also wrote that there was not enough ground for the gaming board to rule, the article said.

The board released the Co-branding emergency law on May 28. According to the website of the gaming board, an emergency rule is a rule adopted which takes effect immediately upon first filing with the Secretary of State and expires automatically after 150 days.

According to a press release, Rush Street Interactive’s Rivers Casino in Des Plaines opened its online sportsbook BetRivers.com on June 18, making the first online / mobile legal sports bet from the City. The retail sportsbook Bet Rivers also took the state’s first legal sports bet on March 9.

DraftKings will enter the sports betting business in Illinois after having signed a market access agreement with Casino Queen in East St. Louis. “DraftKings can confirm it has a market access deal with Casino Queen per our recent S-1 filing on June 16, 2020,” the company said in a statement on June 30. “We look forward to working with both the Illinois Gaming Board and Casino Queen to bring our legal sports betting product to Illinois.”

State casinos reopened July 1 with new policies of safety and social distancing in place. According to news sources, there were long lines of customers waiting to get on certain casinos. On June 25, the Illinois Gaming Board announced that casino and video gaming operations will begin at 9 a.m. on July 1. “The Gaming Board worked with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to develop a gaming resumption process that protects the public health of patrons and employees, while restarting gaming activities in meaningful way,” said Gaming Board Administrator Marcus Fruchter in a news release. The announcement comes as the state prepares to push its reopening programme into Step 4.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed SB 516 into law, finalising a gaming package that paves the way for a Chicago casino by reworking current tax systems, enabling gambling at the State Fair and offering relief during the pandemic, the Governor’s office announced in a news release June 30. “After decades of proposals and false-starts, the Chicago casino has now become law, paving the way for a transformative new funding source for Illinois’ infrastructure, as well as helping shore up Chicago’s own significant pension obligations, in addition to serving as the impetus for a dynamic new entertainment district in our city,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in the release.

According to media sources, Illinois lawmakers approved the Chicago casino on 23 May. The Senate, before sending it to Pritzker ‘s desk, approved the casino proposal 42-14. According to bill sponsor Sen. Bill Cunningham of Chicago, the state’s capital projects will get $45 million up front in licencing fees before the casino opened.

According to media sources, Arlington International Racecourse and the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen ‘s Association signed a two year agreement on June 22 to resume racing at Arlington in July. Owners and trainers are allowed to return on July 6, with races starting again on July 23 and continuing on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through September 26. The season was expected to start May 1.

LEGISLATURE: According to Capitol News Illinois, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled on April 16 that daily fantasy sports do not suit the concept of gambling in the State statute.

Indiana

CASINOS: The Indiana Gaming Commission approved the proposed merger between Eldorado and Caesars, but on condition that the two companies sell three casinos in Indiana combined. The Northwest Indiana Times reported on July 13 that Thomas Reeg, CEO of Eldorado, told the Indiana Horse Racing Commission that his business would meet the requirement. The report said Reeg told the IHRC that the new company will sell the Elizabeth Caesars Southern Indiana Casino, the Horseshoe Hammond Casino and the Evansville Tropicana Casino. Caesars already operates Shelbyville’s Indiana Grand Racing & Casino and Anderson’s Harrah’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino; Eldorado will purchase those assets under the deal.

Lines remained outside of several casinos when they reopened on June 15 in Indiana, according to media reports. The 13 state-regulated casinos in Indiana were allowed to reopen with updated safety plans submitted to the Indiana Gaming Commission. Since Mid-March the casinos have been closed.

Four Winds Casino in South Bend, the state’s only tribal casino, also reopened June 15. The two Indiana casinos of Boyd Gaming Corp.—Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City and Belterra Casino in Florence — also reopened June 15. Penn National announced that it has reopened the Ameristar Casino Hotel in East Chicago and the Lawrenceburg Hollywood Casino.

The IGC added the Nippon Professional Baseball League, The Basketball Tournament (TBT), revised its FIBA leagues on June 29, adding the Austrian, German, and Spanish Liga tennis series to the list of sports on which Indiana sportsbooks will make wagers. The IGC added the following activities in mid-June — the German Bundesliga Basketball, including BBL Pokal; the National Hockey League Draft Lottery; the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL); and World Team Tennis. Click here for the complete list.

The IGC has recently revised its Emergency Rules for Sports Wagering. The laws went into practise on 20 May.

According to ESPN, which released a study on the validity of table tennis matches on May 25, the IGC on June 1 suspended betting on lower-tier table tennis games, while undertaking a review of the leagues and their relationship to sanctioning bodies to decide whether integrity policies apply.

The IGC has given full mobile sports betting authorisation to Caesars Interactive Entertainment through its Hammond Horseshoe Casino. It had been operating under licence from August under a temporary vendor.

LEGISLATURE: On June 12, Gov. Eric Holcomb pushed Indiana into Step 4 of a five-part program to reopen Indiana. The state has managed to lighten some of the limitations in effect since mid-March.

Iowa

CASINOS: WinnaVegas Casino resumed table games in Sloan on July 17, and extended its hours. Masks are compulsory for visitors and gloves and masks are to be worn by sellers. On June 12 the casino reopened.

Betfred became the latest operator in the state to open a mobile sportsbook, beginning July 7. Betfred is partnered with the Larchwood Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort to provide sports betting facilities. The Elite Sportsbook is also available via the casino.

According to parent company Caesars Entertainment, Harrah’s Council Bluffs reopened July 3. This promotes state health policy policies that isolate itself from society. Specific seating at slot machines will be open, and table games will remain closed, depending on publication. On June 1, a sister property called Horseshoe Council Bluffs reopened.

According to their website, Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona reopened June 15 under updated health and social distance guidelines. The same day the Blackbird Bend Casino near Onawa reopened. According to a company news release, two properties owned by the Eldorado Resorts — Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf and Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo — reopened June 1. The business said it adheres to the regulations implemented by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds that restrict capacity to 50 per cent to ensure that the requirements for social distance are met.

Penn National announced the Ameristar Casino Hotel in Council Bluffs has reopened.

According to the Sioux City Journal, the Hard Rock Sioux City reopened June 2 with new social remoteness and safety programmes in place. The Lyon County Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort reopened June 1 along with over a dozen casinos in Iowa. Casinos were permitted to reopen June 1 at a capacity of 50 per cent with other health and social distance initiatives in place.

Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson reopened June 1, with the reopening of the Lakeside Hotel Casino in Osceola June 3. According to KCCI, the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel will reopen July 1, in Tama.

The casinos closed first in mid-March, and the closure was extended three times. Several businesses started reopening May 15, including restaurants, fitness centres, and barber shops / salons.

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission at its June 4 meeting accepted a proposal by DraftKings to authorise daily fantasy sports games, but refused an application by the Iowa Gaming Association to authorise casino betting on esports. DraftKings runs three sportsbooks at casinos Clinton, Jefferson and Emmetsburg.

Scientific Games recently revealed it has signed a 10-year extension to its Iowa Lottery contract for a new regional gaming programme.

LEGISLATURE: According to Radio Iowa, the legislature has voted to prohibit the use of credit cards for sports betting in casinos. Legalised sports betting was legalised at the state’s casinos last year, but Rockwell City’s Rep. Mike Sexton says credit cards were not expressly listed in the law. “We have established in the State of Iowa that you are not allowed to use credit cards for other forms of gambling,” said Sexton according to Radio Iowa.

Kansas

CASINOS: Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City and Kansas Crossing Casino in Pittsburg reopened May 22, and the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane reopened May 23, the Associated Press reported. Penn National’s Hollywood Casino in Kansas Speedway reopened slot machines on May 25 and the Sac and Fox Casino in Powhattan reopened on June 1.

The casinos that reopened tested people’s temperatures in and added additional health and social distance controls. Under the State’s “Phase Two” plans, casinos were allowed to reopen May 22.

LEGISLATURE: The state house was closed to the public — only senators, workers, executive branch employees and lobbyists are admitted. The legislature continues to conduct committee meetings and even works on the state budget and any emergency measures, but remains in recess until April 27.

Kentucky

CASINOS: Churchill Downs recently revealed in a news release that it has agreed to purchase 1,250 antique racing machines from IGT. The machines will run at Derby City Gaming in Louisville, Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel in Oak Grove (opening in September), and Newport Racing & Gaming in Newport (opening in early fourth quarter).

In Kentucky, where horse racing is King, there are no casinos or sports betting. The Spring Meeting at Churchill Downs opened on May 16. Live racing without fans continues from Saturdays on Thursdays. “There will be no fans for racing,” said Gov. Andy Beshear on April 29. “This is one of the most detailed plans that we have seen about specific security checks that everybody has to go through and be temperature-checked to masking to having a very limited group that is there.” The Kentucky Derby, which should have been held May 2, was moved and Sept. 5.

The state has been considering legislation to expand gambling beyond horse race betting, but this year that will not happen. There’s an indefinite stay-at – home order in place, but Kentucky is trying to coordinate with neighbouring states when they will reopen.

LEGISLATURE: On April 1 the state legislature passed a streamlined one-year budget that keeps government spending at current rates, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. This did not provide a potential revenue source which could have been added to the sports betting regulations.

 

CASINOS: According to the Associated Press, Penn National Gaming expects to lay off about 1,150 casino employees in the State in August due to economic difficulties caused by coronavirus. About 161 jobs are expected to be released at the L’Auberge Hotel and Casino in Baton Rouge and 441 additional staff at the L’Auberge Lake Charles casino, the AP confirmed, according to Louisiana Workforce Commission notices. Penn National also operates Boomtown Casino in Harvey and by Aug. 15 approximately 200 workers are expected to be let go there. Approximately 350 employees are also set to be laid off at the Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City according to AP.

According to Churchill Downs Inc., on June 13, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans reopened under revised health and social-distance guidelines from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board and public health officials. According to news reports Caesars Entertainment reopened Harrah’s New Orleans the same day. Harrah’s, the only land-based casino in the state, reopened initially at capacity of 25 per cent.

The Lafayette Daily Advertiser reported on June 11 that in March and April, riverboats, land based casinos, racetracks with slots and other video gaming sites lost around $440 million in sales based on state revenue reports. Twenty casinos shut down from the State on March 17.

Penn National Gaming reopened its five Louisiana casinos on May 18-Boomtown Casino Bossier City, Boomtown Casino New Orleans, L’Auberge Casino Baton Rouge, L’Auberge Casino Lake Charles and Margaritaville Casino Bossier City. State casinos have reopened under more stringent health and social distance initiatives, including facilities capability of 25 per cent. According to news accounts, the tourists waited in long lines to get into the facilities.

The Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, and Treasure Chest Casino reopened on May 20. In the coming weeks it will resume operations at Amelia Belle Casino and Sam’s Town Shreveport, the company said.

On May 15, the state commenced its first reopening process. According to an article in The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Gov. John Bel Edwards declared on May 11 that he would allow casinos, gyms, barber shops, hair salons, food permit bars and others to reopen at 25 per cent capacity. Many businesses, as well as churches, can also expand to a quarter of their usual size. In mid-May a stay-at – home order had been in place.

LEGISLATURE: On June 23, the Senate gave the final passage to HB 64, which sets the daily sports fantasy tax threshold, by a 36-0 vote. The House has approved it by an vast majority. Because it includes taxes, approval in both chambers required two-thirds of the vote. The legislature is in a special session called immediately after the June 1 regular session ended. The bill transfers his signature to Edwards. Edwards also signed a bill setting out fantasy sports rules.

On June 15, Edwards signed Senate Bill 130, and the issue of regulating the state’s sports betting will now be on the November ballot. With the signature of Edwards, voters in the 64 parishes in the state get a final say on whether or not they want sports betting on their premises. The bill became Act No. 215, after it was signed on June 11.

On June 4, Edwards revealed that he has named state police Lt. Col. Mike Noel as the new Louisiana Gaming Control Board chairman. Noel, who is retiring from the state police, will replace Ronnie Jones, who has served since 2013 and was not approved by the legislature on June 1st. Noel served more than 30 years with the Louisiana State Police. Jones, who was reappointed to the seat by Edwards in July, was among 11 appointees chosen to serve on boards and commissions by statewide elected officials who did not obtain Senate approval.

Maine

CASINOS: The two state casinos — Hollywood Casino Bangor and Oxford Casino — will reopen this week, the Bangor Daily News reports. According to a new release by owner Churchill Downs Inc., The Oxford Casino reopened July 9. The Bangor Hollywood Casino reopened July 10. According to new health and social distance plans approved by state officials, the Daily News announced, casinos would be restricted to 200 people (50 people in four different zones).

LEGISLATURE: According to media reports, on 21 May the State Gambling Control Board approved online betting on horse races. Bettors will put online wagers on races around the globe. The governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed sports betting and in February, the House refused to overturn the veto after the Senate did.

Maryland

CASINOS: In the last fiscal year, according to The Baltimore Sun, the state’s casinos reported a 27 percent drop in revenue to $529 million. This was $194.3 million less than the previous fiscal year, when the coronavirus pandemic forced casinos to be closed for three months.

In June, casino revenue was $34.9 million, a year-over-year decrease of 75 percent over the month. As well as casinos, fitness centres / gyms and malls started reopening June 19, among other businesses. As of mid-March, casinos were closed.

MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County, the state’s largest casino, reopened June 29 with improved social-distancing security measures in place. They included temperatures tested upon entry, disabled any other slot machine and mounted plexiglass barriers. As for all MGM assets worldwide, inside the casino masks must be operating at all times. The poker room initially didn’t work.

On 29 June Maryland Live Casino reopened. Slots and table games were available but before entering guests had to wear face masks, follow social distancing guidelines and get their temperature tested.

Baltimore horseshoe reopened June 28. June 19 reopened Hollywood Casino in Perryville, Ocean Downs Casino near Ocean City, and Rocky Gap Casino in western Maryland.

LEGISLATURE: On April 20, Senate and House Leaders declared that they would not hold a special session in May. Maryland’s General Assembly ended its legislative session on March 18 due to concerns regarding coronavirus, but not before authorising a sports betting bill calling on voters to legalise sports betting in November.

The Senate voted to pass the bill on March 18 after a crucial amendment was introduced by the House the previous day. If voters support the bill, the legislature will have to figure out how sports betting, tax rates and who gets licences will be put into effect. The electoral referendum is required by law in Maryland.

The legislative session was scheduled to conclude April 6 and this is known to be the first time since the Civil War that a session has been shortened.

Massachusetts

CASINOS: In Step 3 of the State’s reopening programme, casinos reopened. Plainridge Park Casino is back on July 8, Encore Boston Harbor is back on July 12 and MGM Springfield is back on July 13. Inside the building, all three had imposed masks and implemented new procedures for cleaning and sanitising.

According to masslive.com, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on June 23 proposed new health and safety standards for reopening the state ‘s three casinos. The latest steps include social distancing between slot machines and starting with no roulette, craps and poker. As of mid-March, casinos have been closed.

Previously the casinos said their requirements would include thermal cameras for relocating temperatures, tables and slot machines to ensure adequate social space, masks worn by employees and employers, increased hand sanitizer stations and Plexiglass barriers between employees and employers, NBC Boston said.

According to boston.com, Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker’s reopening programme began June 8. Phase 2 will include hotels with casinos and restaurants with outdoor seating. Playgrounds and recreational sports can be used by children. Gaming floors will be part of Phase 3 which should begin earliest in late June.

LEGISLATURE: The legislature is meeting and there is already a sports betting bill pending and it may be included in the state budget.

Michigan

CASINOS: The three commercial casinos in Detroit, closed since mid-March, reported a 59.3 percent decrease in revenue in the first six months of 2020 compared with the same time in 2019. The MGM Grand, Greektown Casino and MotorCity Casino have managed to bring in almost $300 million in sales from January through June – but in fact it was only from January through March.

Former Bears defensive star lineman Steve “Mongo” McMichael made the first bet ceremonial — $20 on the Bears to win the Super Bowl — as New Buffalo ‘s Four Winds Casino started to take sports wagers.

According to mlive.com, three workers at Gun Lake Casino tested positive for coronavirus. Authorities also confirmed the three cases on 7 July. Following a thorough cleaning of the property the casino will remain open and will continue to track the situation, the study said. Gun Lake Casino, located just south of Grand Rapids and west of Lansing, reopened June 8 with updated guidance on safety and social distance.

Global sports betting provider Kambi has entered into a agreement with the Potawatomi Four Winds Casinos Pokagon Band to introduce on-site and electronic sports betting goods to three state casinos — New Buffalo, Dowagiac and Hartford — according to a press release dated July 1st. A launch online is expected to follow. “We look forward to announcing the details of the sports betting options we will offer at our Michigan locations in the near future,” said Frank Kennedy, senior vice president of gaming operations at Four Winds in the statement. The Four Winds properties reopened their three Michigan casinos on June 15 as well as one in South Bend in Indiana.

Northville Downs, Michigan’s only horse racing venue, will now take advance deposit wagering on an order from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The order was released on 26 June by MGCB Executive Director Richard S. Kalm along with a second order granting TVG a conditional 30-day licence.

Rush Street Interactive, which just launched the first online sportsbook in Illinois, announced a partnership with Little River Casino Resort in Manistee as service provider for its retail sportsbook in a news release on June 22. So long so Michigan laws allow, the agreement with the Ottawa Indians Little River Band also allows Rush Street to co-brand online sports betting and online casino. Little River expects to open its latest sportsbook at retail early third quarter.

According to wwmt.com, FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek unveiled its latest sportsbook on 22 June with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. According to its website, the casino, owned by the Potawatomi Nottawaseppi Huron Tribe, reopened on June 1 under tighter health and social-distancing guidelines.

While no date has been set for reopening the three casinos in Detroit, the Michigan Gaming Control Board has accepted minimum standards for reopening the three casinos, including restricting capacity to 15 percent, taking guest temperatures upon entry and taking social distance steps. Since making their first legal sports bets the three casinos closed March 16.

DraftKings revealed on June 4 that they would partner with Bay Mills Resort & Casino to join Michigan’s online sports-betting market. The deal allows online and smartphone entry, and bettors from Michigan will be able to position in-person wagers on a new DraftKings sportsbook in the Bay Mills Resort & Casino. The Relationship is subject to Michigan Gaming Control Board licencing and approval.

In several areas of the state, including the far north Upper Peninsula, where many tribal casinos are located, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has loosened restrictions. Whitmer signed an executive order on May 18 authorising the partial reopening of bars and restaurants beginning on May 22 at a rate of 50 percent. The Traverse City area will reopen under the order, too.

According to mlive.com, Odawa Casino Mackinaw reopened on May 22 with improved security and social distance initiatives in place, including wearing face masks. The Petoskey Odawa Casino reopened on 29 May, as did the Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge and Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel near Traverse City. They ‘re owned and run by the Ottawa and Chippewa Indian Grand Traverse Tribe.

Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet, owned and run by Lake Superior Chippewa’s Lac Vieux Desert Band, reopened on May 22, its web site reported.

According to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Saganing Eagles Landing Casino and Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant reopened June 1.

The Island Resort and Casino, a tribal casino owned by the Hannahville Indian Community in Harris close to the Wisconsin border, has released new consumer instructions on its website. It reopened 16 May. It was closed from 21 March. The state-at-home order for Michigan remains in place until 28 May.

Five casinos in the Upper Peninsula owned by the Sault Ste. Chippewa Indian Marie Tribe-Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignacehas reopened June 1.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told the Detroit News that without a COVID-19 vaccine, the three casinos in the city probably won’t reopen fully. “I would be surprised if a vaccine develops within a year. So we’re going to have to deal with it. Do the casinos end up reopening with 25 percent or 30 percent capacity? I don’t know,” Duggan told the newspaper. Taxes and construction fees from the gaming houses brought in last year’s $184 million for Detroit, and $118 million for the state, representing 20 percent of the general fund of the region.

 

The Michigan Gaming Control Board announced that income from the three Detroit casinos declined steeply in March, with a total adjusted income of $57,445,827. This was down 52.8 percent from $121.761.104 in February and down 59 percent year on year. Detroit ‘s three casinos-MGM Grand, Greektown, and MotorCity-closed on March 16. According to the Detroit News, the Greektown on March 30 opened 40 rooms free to Detroit police officers, paramedics and emergency medical technicians who are worried about going home and infecting family members with the coronavirus.

Legal sports betting began in Michigan on March 11, after first ceremonial wagers were made in the casinos of MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown. The state has shut down 23 tribal casinos.

Legal sports betting began in Michigan on March 11, after first ceremonial wagers were made in the casinos of MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown. The state has shut down 23 tribal casinos.

LEGISLATURE: A Senate bill introduced this week aims, according to media reports, to speed up the online gaming process by granting temporary internet gaming provider licences to commercial and tribal casinos before regulations are drawn up. The Senate Bill 969 was referred to Regulatory Review Committee. Another indication that Michigan is one of the states that shows determination to get iGaming up and running.

Minnesota

CASINOS: The Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, according to a post on its website, began a staggered reopening on June 22, with improved health and social distance initiatives. “As we plan the gradual process of reopening our economy and returning employees to work, we have taken measures to combat the potential impact on our resort and facilities,” the post read. “We will continue to monitor the situation. As it evolves, our reopening date could change, based upon external factors, such as the planned June 21 reopening of the US/Canadian border.”

According to Twin Cities Fox-TV affiliate KMSP, Running Aces Casino in Columbus reopened June 15th with reduced capacity and new safety policies in place. The Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton also reopened June 15 according to their websites, as did the Fond-du-Luth Casino in Duluth. All of these are owned and run by the Lake Superior Chippewa Fond du Lac Band.

As of mid-March, casinos have been closed. But the Prairie ‘s Edge Casino Resort at Granite Falls reopened on May 18, according to the casino ‘s website, the first day the state’s new Stay Safe order permitted it. According to their websites, two casinos in Prior Lake — Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos — owned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux reopened May 26. Red Wing Treasure Island reopened June 1. According to the Grand Casino website, Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley reopened on June 1.

LEGISLATURE: The legislature returned April 14 and approved a new package on coronavirus relief.

Mississippi

CASINOS: Dakia Entertainment Hospitality and Broadwater Development have signed a formal letter of intent to redevelop the former casino, marina and golf course in Broadwater Beach, according to media reports. Biloxi ‘s Developers won tax breaks for the $1.2 billion, 266-acre entertainment complex. It is expected to open by summer 2023.

According to media reports a Vicksburg casino employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee may have been working days in the Riverwalk Casino before symptoms developed. General Manager Ginny Tzotzolas informed employees of the positive test in a memo to casino workers that has been posted on social media. Mississippi casinos reopened May 21. Doors to open at 8 a.m. And there were casinos that had queues of people waiting to get in. The casinos have taken steps to strengthen security procedures and to establish protocols that separate themselves from each other.

Penn National Gaming announced its reopening on that day of its Mississippi properties including 1st Jackpot Casino Tunica, Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg, Boomtown Casino Biloxi, Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast and Hollywood Casino Tunica. Boyd Gaming announced the reopening of the Biloxi IP Casino Resort Spa and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica on 21 May.

MGM Resorts reopened the Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunic on May 25, followed by a reduced availability of Biloxi’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino on June 1, both.

According to the Clarion Ledger, the gambling commission ordered casinos closed at midnight March 16.

Missouri

LEGISLATURE: According to The Ledger, the legislature adjourned its annual session indefinitely.

CASINOS: On June 24, the Missouri Gaming Commission approved the sale, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, of Lumière Place, a St. Louis casino, to Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI), which owns the real estate. Eldorado Resorts Inc., will continue to own and operate the Lumière brand. The Post-Dispatch reported that GLPI now owns the assets of the six St. Louis-area casinos.

According to news sources, casinos in St. Louis County reopened on June 15 under more strict safety and social-distance guidelines. Several state casinos have opened earlier but St. Louis County has not relaxed its casino limits at the same time as the state. According to a company press release, three properties owned by Eldorado Resorts — The Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Boonville, Isle of Capri Casino Kansas City and Lumière Place Casino & Hotel — reopened June 1. The company said it’s limiting casino capacity to ensure proper social distance.

The Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Hollywood Casino in St. Louis and River City Casino & Hotel were reopened by Penn National. The 13 Missouri casinos began reopening June 1. Since mid-March the Riverboat casinos have been closed. The state has also begun to lift certain limits on stay at home for companies.

According to a report in the Post-Dispatch, MLB and the NBA terminated relationships with lobbyists representing their Missouri sports-betting interests. The move comes after sports betting in the state had gained traction. But in mid-March, lawmakers cut their spring session off short. The legislature has returned to pass budget and coronavirus legislation, according to The Post-Dispatch, but is shying away from acting on other critical state policy reforms. “It appears like we are running out of time to take action on both sports betting and video lottery,” told the newspaper Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, who has introduced numerous gaming bills in recent years.

LEGISLATURE: According to a press release, the State extended its contract with Scientific Games to manufacture Scratchers games until June 2021. Scientific Games, the world’s biggest supplier of instant lottery games, has been the state’s primary provider since 2011, the release said. Legislators went back to work and approved a state budget and sent it to the Senate, the Associated Press reported. Instead of the coronavirus the budget takes into account missed sales. The constitution of the state demands that the budget be adopted by 8 May.

Montana

CASINOS: Restaurants , bars, casinos and breweries reopened May 4, following new guidelines on health and safety. Many of the latest rules provide steps of social distance and a decreased capability inside the establishments. According to news reports, officials at Billings and Butte casinos spent the weekend before the reopening spacing out equipment to maintain social distance and set up barriers to protect customers and employees.

LEGISLATURE: There is no State legislature in session. It had arranged committee meetings postponed and allowed workers to work remotely.

Nebraska

CASINOS: According to published reports, a pro-gambling organisation attempting to put in place legislation that would authorise horse-racing casinos on November’s ballot has submitted the requisite number of signatures to the Secretary of State.

According to the Associated Press, the campaign, Keep the Money in Nebraska, says it has about 475,000 signatures for the three petitions, each with more signatures than necessary. But they do need the Secretary of State to check them.

Another petition wants to legalise gambling, amending the constitution of the state; another aims to modify the law of the state in order to approve and control casinos; the third concerns where gambling tax revenues will go, according to AP.

There four tribal casinos in Nebraska. The tribal casinos stayed largely open during the pandemic, taking special safety precautions. Yet the state, like Iowa, has lost tax revenue to neighbouring states with legalised gambling.

Gov. Pete Ricketts opposes the provision of the ballot to legalise gambling and said that he might use his own resources to try and block the laws, the AP said.

LEGISLATURE: The Nebraska Legislature is on an extended recess and the resumption of the session is undetermined.

Nevada

CASINOS: According to a Reno Gazette Journal report from 16 July, Boyd Gaming, a gaming corporation headquartered in Las Vegas, will lay off more than 6,000 gaming workers across 10 states. It will constitute at least a fifth of the U.S. staff at Boyd. Most of the company’s casinos have reopened in Las Vegas except for three, the study said.

Betfred USA has been announced as the sportsbook partner at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas for the Mohegan Sun Casino. Nevada is the fourth state where a sportsbook was founded by Betfred USA, joining Pennsylvania, Colorado and Iowa. The Mohegan Sun Casino undergoes upgrades and is expected to reopen by the end of 2020.

Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all bars to close on July 10 after a nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases that impacted many of the small licence slot facilities in the state. Restricted areas are those with 15 slot machines or less. Sisolak directed bars to close in many Nevada counties and make more of their money from alcohol (as opposed and places known as restaurants, where much of the revenue comes from food even though they sell alcohol.) Bars in Las Vegas (in Clark County) and Reno (in Washoe County) are amongst those affected.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Bally’s casino on the Las Vegas Strip will reopen July 23. Caesars Entertainment has also restored other properties in town including Harrah’s, Paris Las Vegas, Caesars Palace and the Flamingo.

Nevada regulators approved the $17.3-billion merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment on July 8, moving it one step closer to completion. The Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission gave their approvals to the agreement at special meetings that took place right after each other. We also approved the take over of Caesars sportsbook operations from William Hill. Willam Hill, Eldorado’s sportsbook owner, currently has 113 sportsbooks available in Nevada. The deal, already approved by the Federal Trade Commission, faces two additional obstacles as the transaction must be approved by Indiana and New Jersey regulators.

According to a statement on its Facebook page, Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel & Casino temporarily suspended its table games on July 7 due to the rise in coronavirus numbers in the City. The casino owners want deep cleaning of the tables and sanitising them.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. say employees could be fired for not wearing face masks at their state casinos. According to the Review-Journal, casino companies are attempting to comply with Sisolak ‘s order of 24 June. While the state seeks to reverse the rise in COVID-19 incidents, Sisolak has ordered that face masks or coverings must be worn in public. The order came into effect on June 26 and includes casinos, which started reopening across the state on June 4 after being closed from mid March.

According to iGB North America, Sporting Solutions, a sportsbook and lottery company, collaborated with Las Vegas-based SCCG Management, gaming consultants, to seek to gain entrance into the U.S. sports betting industry. SCCG will provide Sporting Technologies market growth and strategic support, the study said.

The Culinary Union has filed a complaint against casinos in Las Vegas Strip, including The Signature at the MGM Grand, Sadelle’s Cafe at Bellagio and Guy Fieri Las Vegas at Harrah’s, to protect employees from coronavirus spread. Since 1 March 19 members of the Culinary Union and/or their dependents died of COVID-19, the union said in a news release announcing the complaint. The suit requests for injunctive relief over unsafe working conditions under the Labor-Management Relations Act, the release said. The union has only recently asked visitors and staff to wear face masks that the state has recently imposed. The union also called for routine employee training, and frequent guest room cleaning.

Avi Resort & Casino reopened July 10 in Laughlin. It announced in late June that it would temporarily close; it cancelled a July 4 fireworks display. A news release said the casino re-closed early after a few workers had tested positive. Prior to reopening the casino was thoroughly cleaned.

On June 25, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved amendments to current cashless gaming laws that will make it easier for gamblers to move money by debit card from bank accounts while they are in casinos. According to the Review-Journal the amendments take effect immediately. The reforms could lead to new cashless gaming systems that are available to convert into electronic payments using currency in casinos.

According to media sources, the poker rooms at Bellagio and Caesars Palace re-opened June 18. There are fewer seats at the tables, and due to social distancing laws plexiglass was installed.

On June 17, the State Gaming Control Board  revised its health and safety regulations and directed Nevada casinos to allow patrons at table and card games to wear face masks “if there is no barrier, partition or shield between the dealer and each player.”

According to media reports, Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo, will attempt to restrict coronavirus among its employees by using “smart rings” that can detect infection before symptoms occur. Since two tests showed that the devices would reliably predict the onset of symptoms, the company bought 1,000 of the rings from Oura, a finnish technology startup.

Las Vegas casinos reopened June 4 following a 78-day closure. It was Nevada’s first day allowed in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and some of Las Vegas’ largest casinos — MGM Grand, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, The Venetian, The Flamingo, Wynn Las Vegas, Sahara, The Plaza and Encore — were back in operation. It has appeared to be a good reopening from most accounts.

The Bellagio reopening went so well on June 4 that MGM Resorts International President and Acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle told the Review-Journal that the company has already started to plan for its next reopenings. Luxor will reopen on June 25; on July 1st, Aria and Mandalay Bay, Four Seasons Las Vegas will open again.

According to the article in the Review-Journal, MGM has called back “several thousand” employees, and Hornbuckle hopes to get back 50 to 60 percent of the hourly workforce by the end of the summer.

Within the first day, Boyd Gaming reopened nine of their Nevada properties — The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Aliante, Cannery, Sam’s City, Fremont, California and Jokers Wild. A list of Las Vegas casino reopenings from June 4 is available here.

Cactus Petes Resort Casino and M Resort Spa Casino Las Vegas, reopened by Penn National.

UFC held a fanless card in Las Vegas over the weekend of May 30-31 and popular boxing promoter Bob Arum staged a five-fight card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9 after gaining local and state approval. The card was the first of a series of fights at MGM Grand over the next two months. There was a second fight card on June 11, kicking off twice weekly June and July shows at the casino. The fights will be broadcast on ESPN.

According to Las Vegas Sun, the Colorado Belle will not be reopening in Laughlin. According to a statement issued May 18 by parent company Golden Entertainment, staff were laid off “indefinitely.”

According to KSNV Ch, Circa Sports launched curbside sport betting in the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino on May 7. 3. This will be available from 10 a.m., seven days a week. And 6:00 p.m. According to its website, the South Point Hotel Casino on South Las Vegas Boulevard launched a Mobile Betting Sports App on May 6. Potential users can sign up and current customers can make deposits, without having to leave their cars in a drive-thru at the valet entrance of the house.

According to the Review-Journal, Las Vegas-based GameCo will soon begin selling skill-based video game gaming apps in Nevada. The newspaper announced that a six-month field trial featuring two games-” Nothin’ but Net 2 “and” All-Star Hoops-was “conducted at four casino properties, The Linq, MGM Grand, and Park MGM in Las Vegas and Atlantis Casino Resort & Spa in Reno. The company said it is planning to sell other Nevada video game gambling apps.

The Lakeside Inn and Casino in Lake Tahoe on April 14 announced it was permanently closing after 35 years on their website. “This decision was not made lightly. We hoped that we would be able to resume operations once this COVID-19 situation improved. However, that’s just not in the cards for us,” the post said.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board also issued permission on April 14 to provide wagers for such sporting events — the 2020 Overwatch League, the 2020 League of European Legends Championships and the 2020 ESL ONE-DOTA Los Angeles event. It approved wagering on eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series 2020 earlier in April. Nevada is one of the few states allowing betting on eSports.

LEGISLATURE: Lawmaking in Nevada is not in session. It occurs only in odd-numbered years.

New Hampshire

CASINOS: According to its websites and social media pages, the Brook Casino in Seabrook reopened June 19, under new health and social distancing steps. In a news release, the casino said it “not only meets, but exceeds the New Hampshire Lottery Commission and Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force’s health and safety standard.” Casinos closed in mid-March and Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at – home order was in place until June 15. On its website the Brook Casino said it would close for deep cleaning on June 22-23 and June 29-30 and be open daily starting July 1.

According to gamingintelligence.com, Instant Win Gaming will become the “e-instant” game provider for the New Hampshire Lottery. Throughout the fall, the lottery commission requested proposals for iLottery ‘s e-Instant Games to create, design, introduce and related services.

Several non-essential state-owned corporations reopened May 11 under strengthened guidelines for safety and social distancing. Among the reopening company — golf courses, drive-in theatres, convenience shops, barbers and hair salons, and campsites.

The state lottery reported $8,768,769 in the sports betting handle in March, down 60 percent from the total handle reported in February for $22,130,928. State revenue from sports betting in March was $394,229, down 41 percent from $671,435 in February.

New Hampshire began offering eNASCAR betting this spring, according to the website of licenced sport wagering leagues and events from the New Hampshire Lottery. “The New Hampshire Lottery is constantly looking for ways to engage our players and to attract new audiences and eNASCAR represents a strategic addition to our sports betting portfolio,” Charlie McIntyre, lottery executive director, said in a news release. “This new sporting event offers an exciting new opportunity for our players to experience the thrill of winning.”

LEGISLATURE: Legislative hearings have been postponed until 4 May.

New Jersey

CASINOS: The Casino Control Commission of the State heard a second day of testimony on July 16 concerning the merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment casino giants.   New Jersey is the last state to give approval before the agreement passes.
Division of Gaming Enforcement    of the state suspended betting on Ukrainian table tennis on July 9 in the wake of match-fixing allegations around six players, multiple media outlets have announced. Colorado authorities did the same.

According to EGR, Tipico, a German sports betting company, has applied with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for a sports betting licence. Tipico hopes to open in time for the start of the NFL season in New Jersey, where it has its U.S. headquarters in Hoboken.

On June 29, Gov. Phil Murphy declared that no drinking, dining, or smoking will be allowed in casinos in Atlantic City when they reopened on July 2. On July 26, the Borgata announced it would reopen on July 14 with expanded outdoor seating options and new casino health and sanitation measures. Following Murphy ‘s announcement about indoor dining, Borgata had postponed its opening.

On 2 July, casinos, Tropicana, Ocean, Golden Nugget and Hard Rock all reopened. Around July 3, Harrah’s, Caesars and Bally reopened.

On June 22, Murphy had confirmed that casinos will reopen at a capacity of 25 percent on July 2. He initially intended to require 25 percent capacity indoor dining at restaurants, but he reversed course in other states after outbreaks.

On-site betting could resume on July 2, Murphy announced at horse racing tracks. Live bets on horse races on the tracks and on simulcast races from around the world can be made. On July 2 Monmouth Park reopened its William Hill Sportsbook. The Meadowlands reopen their sportsbook FanDuel the same day.

Before the casinos can reopen, the state’s Gaming Enforcement Division must give its approval and said it “has engaged with the casino industry to develop plans for the safe reopening of the Atlantic City retail casino operations when authorised by the governor,” the AP reported.

According to the Associated Press, a construction company has abandoned its offer to bring sports betting to the site of a former racetrack, Garden State Park in Cherry Hill. Cherry Hill Towne Center Partners said it wants a lawsuit dismissed against GS Park Racing and related firms, the successor to the company that ran the South Jersey track where horse racing was last held in 2001, AP said. State law requires sports betting to be provided by casinos and existing and former racetracks

On May 18, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit involving professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen ‘s Association. The lawsuit now reverts to the New Jersey federal court. A federal judge will decide the amount of damages the horsemen ‘s association will seek after hearing evidence from both sides.

According to published reports, Scientific Games and the Golden Nugget Online Casino will launch content on ReelPlay. The launch will include El Dorado Infinity Reels as collaborator of Scientific Games, ReelPlay.

LEGISLATURE: According to nj.com, the legislature on June 15 approved a package of tax reform initiatives for Atlantic City casinos. Legislation extended tax deductions casinos would take on promotional gaming credits and the the gross income tax liability for one year if a casino has seen losses during the pandemic. Licensing fees to the State will be postponed until six months after reopening of the casinos. A licence fee of $500 will be waived on every slot machine until June 30th, 2021.

New Mexico

CASINOS: Route 66 Casino Hotel, owned and run by the Pueblo de Laguna, reopened according to its website on June 27th. Right now the Dancing Eagle Casino is still operating.

According to published reports, the Ohkay Hotel Casino in Ohkay Owinge reopened to VIP customers on June 13, and the general public on June 15. The Albuquerque Isleta Casino also reopened to invited guests and VIP clients including members of the Gold Card. According to its website the Taos Mountain Casino also reopened on June 15. Statewide casinos closed in mid March. According to a news release, the Navajo Nation said its three New Mexico casinos — Fire Rock, Northern Edge, and Flowing Water casinos — will reopen on July 5 at 50 per cent capacity. There will be additional steps for health and safety including workers wearing face masks.

LEGISLATURE: The legislative part-session is over.

New York

CASINOS: According to Syracuse.com, the Oneida Indian Nation will reopen sports betting on 22 July at three casinos in the central part of the state. All three casinos – the Bridgeport Point Place Casino, the Chittenango Yellow Brick Road Casino and the Verona Turning Stone Resort Casino – reopened June 10 for gaming and some other activities. Bettors are only permitted to wager inside casinos.

On July 14, the Middletown Times Herald-Record announced that more than 4,100 casino employees in the state will receive notices of layoffs. According to the report, the four commercial casinos in the State remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Since April the workers had been on furlough already. Many tribal casinos have already reopened in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on July 6 that no date has been set for the reopening of New York ‘s commercial casinos. Casinos closed on March 16 as part of a three-state regional directive which included Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Tribal casinos in New York and Connecticut started reopening. During a coronavirus briefing on July 6, Cuomo also announced that the New York state fair was cancelled.

The Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady posted an update on their July 7 website saying it will remain closed temporarily until further notice.

Hogansburg’s Akwesasne Mohawk Casino will reopen Aug. 3, announced general manager Todd Papineau via Facebook. He said new health and social-distancing steps would be in place, including a lower power. This will reopen, he said in the Facebook video, without table games.

According to media sources, the Oneida Indian Nation reopened its three casinos – Turning Stone Resort Casino, Point Place Casino, and Yellow Brick Road Casino – on June 10. In addition to new health and social distance initiatives, according to a syracuse.com report, the casinos did not allow anyone beyond a 120-mile radius of the casinos to join.

According to a press release the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino have been reopened by the Seneca Nation. According to news reports, other Seneca Nation gaming sites in Irving, Salamanca and Cuba as well as larger casinos including reopened on June 18.

The Lakeside Gaming Casino at Union Springs was New York’s first casino operation to reopen. The Cayuga Nation-run slot machine-only facility says it is exempt from state restrictions imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the report said. It also reopened under more strict rules on safety and social distance.

Also on its website, the Saratoga Casino and Hotel confirmed that it is consulting with the state on how to reopen, but said a reopening date “has not been determined.”

Sports betting in New York rebounded with $99,514 in March, according to statistics released by the New York State Gaming Commission. While being struck hardest by the coronavirus and not offering mobile sports betting, New York experienced a modest increase in sports betting income from its February loss of $179,593.

LEGISLATURE: Visitors were locked to the capitol and its adjacent buildings. Three New York State Assembly representatives also tested coronavirus positive. According to news sources, Cuomo and the legislators reached a preliminary budget deal on April 1. Online sports betting is not included on the bill. Cuomo has been a vocal opponent of introducing state mobile sports betting, even as sports betting sales in the state hit new lows.

North Carolina

CASINOS: According to the Associated Press, an effort by the Catawba Indian Nation in South Carolina to develop a casino and resort in North Carolina is facing an amended lawsuit by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. It’s the most recent dispute between the two tribes over the casino. The North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians filed the amended lawsuit this week opposing approval by the federal government in March for a Catawba casino. The facility will be located on land near Kings Mountain, near Interstate 85, just west of Charlotte. The latest case is part of a lawsuit brought before federal court in D.C. Five days after the Agency’s announcement, by the Cherokee tribe in March. In April a judge dismissed an Eastern Band motion for a preliminary injunction.

According to Harrah’s Cherokee website, the two casinos in western North Carolina — Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy — reopened through reservation May 18. They were closed after 18 March. All casinos have comprehensive steps to separate themselves from health and society, the study said. Employees are screened, their temperature tested and face masks are worn. In the state the stay-at – home order expired on May 8.

LEGISLATURE: For the first time since the pandemic started, the State legislature returned April 28. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, representatives wore masks and adopted social-distancing instructions. The legislature should try to pass relief legislation for coronavirus and then adjourn to July or August.

North Dakota

CASINOS: PlayUp Ltd, an Australian wagering and fantasy sports company, has been licenced for the North Dakota Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) licence. According to a news release, the state racing commission approved the application by late May. The licence requires PlayUp to recognise wagers from approximately 20 states on all types of racing.

According to media reports, Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise reopened its Dakota Magic Casino & Hotel, Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel and Dakota Link Casinos on June 6.

According to it’s website, the 4 Bears Casino in Minot reopened on May 16 under new safety and social-distancing initiatives that did not involve blackjack or tables sports. It will be open Sunday-Thursdays. According to a news article, the Standing Rock Tribal Council reopened its Prairie Knights Casino and Resort near Fort Yates in Sioux County in mid-May.

LEGISLATURE: In odd-numbered years the legislative session meets.

Ohio

CASINOS: Casinos and racinos reopened in mid-June, but having been closed for three months due to coronavirus, according to cleveland.com, gaming revenue has left the industry around $500 million behind the same point as last year. The state report , published July 7, indicates a loss to the state of about $160 million in fees and taxes, the cleveland.com report said. $76.7 million in June ‘s sales was around half of what it was ($161.4 million) last June.

State casinos and racinos reopened on June 19 after mid-March shut. Gov. Mike DeWine gave the OK for the June 5 reopenings after new safety and social-distancing proposals were submitted by the casinos. According to Churchill Hill Downs Inc., Miami Valley Gaming opened the first day again. Hollywood Gaming re-opened June 19 in Austintown.

Penn National reopened Hollywood Casino in Columbus, Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Dayton Raceway Gaming in Hollywood and Mohoning Valley Race Course Gaming in Hollywood. MGM Northfield Park reopened at 12 noon on June 20.

Horse racing will resume on May 22. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, MGM Northfield Park on May 8 warned it would need to lay off some of the 900 workers it temporarily furloughed. The State ‘s four casinos and seven racinos closed March 13  after DeWine barred more than 100 people from mass gatherings.

Revenue from March’s first 13 days at the casinos has been $71,902,867.  The February combined revenue was a State record of $171,423,785. The decline was 58 percent on a monthly basis.

LEGISLATURE: HB 194, which legalises sports betting, was approved by an unprecedented 83-10 vote by the House on 28 May. Now it’s going to the Senate, for its own gaming bill. The Senate bill, SB 111, has some variations including having a separate sports betting agency regulating it. The gaps in the bills would have to be sorted out before going to DeWine and entering the Senate.

With a few exceptions, DeWine extended the stay-at – home order for the state until May 29. Building, manufacturing , and distribution operations will commence again on May 4, and offices will reopen. Non-essential retail stores may open again on May 12.

Oklahoma

CASINOS: On 1 July, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed new gaming compacts with the Kialegee Tribal Town and Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, according to the Associated Press, as the Oklahoma Supreme Court considers a lawsuit involving Stitt and two other compacts. The president of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, Matthew Morgan, immediately questioned the validity of the proposed compacts, The Oklahoman published. According to media sources, the proposed compacts do not contain sports betting and must be licenced by the Federal government.

“We agree with Oklahoma ‘s legislative leadership and attorney general Mike Hunter that Gov. Kevin Stitt unilaterally entering into new gaming agreements with tribal nations violates state law,” Morgan said.

Stitt’s gaming compacts with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe became official when the U.S. took office on June 29. According to The Oklahoman, the interior department has released the compacts in the Federal Register. Just before sports betting begins, on July 1 the state Supreme Court started hearing the case to clarify the ability of the governor to arrange the deals.

In June, a federal judge declined Stitt ‘s request to determine his authority to enter into compact gaming with the tribes of the State. The federal government approved the gambling compacts on June 8 which are the focus of the litigation, but they did not become official until they were published in the Federal Register. Stitt, who confirmed the compacts in April, is also facing legal conflict with other tribes in the state over tribal gambling.

According to The Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association suspended Otoe-Missouria and Comanche Nation memberships for signing the gaming pacts. Members are suspended for the remainder of the calendar year, the association said in a statement, at which time members could request reinstatement.

Hunter released a formal opinion May 5 saying that Stitt is unlikely to sign new gambling compacts with the two tribal nations allowing sport betting. The state legislature has not approved Sports betting.

Black Hawk Casino in Shawnee and Sac and Fox Casino in Stroud have reopened according to their websites, and are “clean and sanitised.” According to ktul.com, the casinos closed June 22, after an employee had tested positive for coronavirus.

The Golden Mesa Casino in Guymon announced its reopening on June 22 on their website and social media.

The Comanche Nation reopened two casinos on June 12—Comanche Nation Casino in Lawton and Comanche Red River Casino in Devol — and, according to published reports, will reopen the Comanche Spur Casino in Elgin and Comanche Star Casino in Walters on June 15.

According to the Tulsa World, the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa reopened May 31 to VIP guests and the general public on June 1. Despite the pandemic, the casino was forced to close for two months last year when the Arkansas River flooded. The casino has improved security controls and social isolation controls.

According to media outlets, the WinStar Casino at Thackerville and Choctaw Casino & Resorts in Durant reopened May 27. Both are located close to the Texas border.

On May 27, Chickasaw Nation launched a staggered reopening of their casinos and gaming centres. Officials of the Chickasaw Nation reopened at a full capacity of 25 per cent.

The Norman and Shawnee Thunderbird Casinos, owned by the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, reopened May 11 and, according to The Oklahoman, the casino in Norman had a line of nearly 250 people long. Temperatures were taken at the entrance, masks were passed out and visitors were expected to sit at least six feet away from the nearest person on slot machines.

According to the American Gaming Association, two other tribal casinos in Oklahoma-7 Clans Casino Resort and Tonkawa Hotel & Casino-have reopened. On March 23rd Oklahoma casinos were briefly closed.

LEGISLATURE: According to The Oklahoman, the legislature recently granted Stitt expanded authority to tackle the coronavirus pandemic under the state ‘s declaration of a health emergency.
Portland-Oregon

CASINOS: A casino that reopened in June was briefly closed once more after a member of staff screened COVID-19 positively. Bend TV station KTVZ announced that the Indian Head Casino in Warm Springs closed on July 8, after the positive check. In response to concerns regarding coronavirus, Indian Head had reopened on June 18 after it was briefly closed for several months.

According to a press release, Roar Digital entered into a sports betting agreement with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon. Under the deal, Road Digital, MGM Resorts’ joint venture with GVC, will act as the tribe’s exclusive sports betting partner. It will also open a sportsbook on BetMGM retail at its Spirit Mountain Casino. Roar has the option of a mobile sports betting app on-reservation, if the state sets rules and gives approval, the release said.

The Mill Casino Hotel in North Bend opened on May 18, the Chinook Winds Casino Resort in Lincoln City opened on May 21, the Three Rivers Casino in Florence and Coos Bay, and the Seven Feathers Casino Resort opened on May 22, according to the Associated Press. Both have new recommendations for safety and isolation from community in place.

LEGISLATURE: Can call a special session to discuss coronavirus and any key elements that the pandemic left unknown.

Pennsylvania

CASINOS: Rivers Casino Philadelphia reopened on 17 July, becoming the last casino in the state to get back into operation. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the casino had been unable to set a reopening date since the town had some of its limitations in place.

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh reopened July 10 after being briefly shut down by an order from the Department of Health in Allegheny County. New safety regulations are in effect — visitors in the casino need to wear a mask and their temperature will be checked before they are allowed in. Initially reopened on June 9, Rivers Casino and the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington (about 30 miles outside Pittsburgh) with new health and social distance initiatives. According to KDKA the demand at Rivers Casino was so strong that it opened two hours early. According to media sources, following the reopening two workers have been found positive for coronavirus at Rivers Casinos.

On July 8, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that it would hold an auction on Sept. 2, 2020, prior to its daily board meeting, for a Category 4 slot machine licence. The new auction will be held to implement provisions in Act 23 of 2020 which directed the board to conduct one auction for the Category 4 slot machine licence for which Mount Airy Casino Resorts had previously applied, but which was subsequently denied. Any Pennsylvania slot machine operator and anybody with an ownership interest in a slot machine licence are company liable for sale.

International Game Technology (IGT) reported on July 7 that the gaming control board has approved its video gaming terminals CrystalDual 27 and CrystalSlant, and that they can be attached to truck stops, according to a news release. Throughout Pennsylvania, IGT has a gaming presence with slots and video poker games, casino management systems, iGaming, sports betting and the central online gaming network, the release said.

According to their web site, Presque Isle Downs and Casino reopened June 26. Upon reopening, half of the casino’s slot machines and table games were available to allow for proper social distancing. On entering, guests and workers wore masks and had their temperatures monitored. Horse racing is scheduled to start without spectators on July 27.

On its website, Mohegan Sun Pocono revealed that it reopened on June 22 — “We are open and excited to welcome you back to a world at play,” he proclaimed. “With the guidance of industry experts, regulatory agencies, and in closely mirroring the comprehensive protocols put in place by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s flagship property in Connecticut, we feel we are well-prepared for our doors to open and can’t wait to welcome guests to a clean, safe and fun environment,”    wrote Anthony Carlucci, president and managing director of Mohegan Sun Pocono. Also Mount Airy Casino reopened at noon on June 22.

Harrah’s Philadelphia and Valley Forge Casino reopened on June 26, while Parx Casino and Wind Creek Bethlehem reopened on June 29.

Hollywood Casino reopened June 19 at Penn National Race Course. The poker room has not opened and the sportsbook will remain closed but, according to the casino ‘s website, there will be betting at the sports wagering kiosk. According to Churchill Downs Inc. the Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington reopened June 12.

DraftKings Online Casino went live May 1st through a partnership in Poconos with Hollywood Casino. On June 23, the gaming company revealed in a social media post that DraftKings Roulette is now available in their sportsbook app. Caesars Online Casino also went live in the first week of May, through its partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia. Internet casino gambling in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware is legal and internet poker sites in those three and Nevada are legal.

On June 10, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved a petition from Wind Creek Bethlehem to perform sport wagering. The vote was unanimous on the commission. According to the Allentown Morning Call, Wind Creek plans to start work on the sportsbook by mid-August and open about Nov. 21. Betfred USA will run the sportsbook. Betfred has a sportsbook in Iowa and opened one on 17 June in Colorado.

The Gaming Control Board outlined the minimum requirements for reopening their facilities at the State’s casinos. The 10-page guidance document can be found on the Board ‘s website. The requirements include new measures relating to health and social distance. Additionally, because of players handling cards and chips, “poker rooms are not authorized to operate,” the board said in the document. Poker room operations should be re-examined based on evolving guidelines from health authorities, the gaming control board said.

By order of the state Gaming Control Board, all casinos were closed March 17.

According to a news release on June 11, Scientific Games has agreed to be the distributor of eInstant games for SidePlay Entertainment in North America. Pennsylvania Lottery is the first to launch content for SidePlay through the OpenGaming platform for Scientific Games, the release said.

LEGISLATURE: State Senate Republicans are pressing for gambling legislation that would legalise slot machine-like terminals in bars , restaurants, non-profit social clubs and other liquor licenced businesses, the Associated Press reported. The bill could generate tax revenue at a time when states are attempting to account for coronavirus revenue losses. The legislation also seeks to ban unregulated “skill” cash-paying game terminals from laundromats, pizza parlours, grocery stores, corner stores and bowling alleys that do not have liquor licences, the AP reported.

Rhode Island

CASINOS: According to the Twin Rivers website, the Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln and the Tiverton Casino Hotel, the two state casinos, reopened June 8 by invitation only to selected members. New measures related to health and social isolation were in effect. The new guidelines included temperature controls and each facility was limited to about 25 percent capacity. Only video slots spaced six feet apart, and there were virtual table games at reopening.

The total sports betting handle for May at Rhode Island was $1,533,114, an increase of 159 percent over April’s $591,377 but still a fraction of the normal month. May 2019 saw a cumulative handle of $18.900.152. May ‘s revenue was $163,472, six times higher than April’s $27,381, but significantly lower than May’s $899,165, 81.8 percent.

According to the Newport Daily News, a Superior Court judge has rejected an application for an injunction to prohibit sports betting in Rhode Island. Former mayoral candidate of Providence Daniel Harrop sought a summary judgement on his claim that online sports betting and violated the state constitution at the two casinos of the state, the newspaper reported. The judge has ruled that in 2012 and 2016, voters approved sports betting.

The Sportsbook Rhode Island mobile app and website has been updated by International Game Technology (IGT) and William Hill according to Providence Business News. Among other enhancements, the redesigned app and website will include an elevated gui, and a wider betting menu. Bettors will have a wider choice of futures including prop-bets, and sporting events like Russian table tennis and Taiwanese basketball, PBN said.

Stay-at-home order for the state was been lifted May 8.

LEGISLATURE: The State Ethics Commission ruled that Gov. Gina Raimondo did not commit an ethics violation during negotiations with IGT (International Game Technology) for a 20-year no-bid lottery contract. According to the Providence Journal, the commission voted 7-1 on 28 April to dismiss the complaint. All legislative sessions were indefinitely adjourned.

South Carolina

CASINOS: South Carolina is without casinos. According to a news release, the South Carolina Education Lottery recently awarded Scientific Games a new six-year contract to provide “warehousing and distribution services with a new state-of-the-art distribution facility, a next generation lottery mobile app, and interactive services.”

LEGISLATURE: Stay-at – home order for the state was lifted on May 4. It makes the “home or work” order of the governor voluntary, and allows some restaurants to start serving patrons according to strict guidelines. State parks were reopened May 1. According to The State, the legislature returned April 8 to consider emergency legislation and adopt a resolution that would allow it to operate after the session ends May 14.

South Dakota

CASINOS: The Flandreau Royal River Casino & Hotel, owned and run by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, reopened May 29. Flandreau sits roughly 45 miles north of Sioux Falls.

Deadwood casinos reopened on May 10. According to the Deadwood Advantage website, the Deadwood City Commission voted on May 7 to allow casinos and other businesses in the town to reopen.

The decision allowed slots and table games to begin under the guidelines for social distancing and safety. On March 23, Deadwood Mayor David Ruth Jr. forced the town’s 25 casinos to immediately close.

LEGISLATURE: Recently, the State Attorney General published details on the ballot for the November election, including Constitutional Amendment B entitled “An amendment to the South Dakota Constitution authorising the Legislature to authorise sports wagering in Deadwood,” according to Pierre ‘s capital magazine. The statement reads: he constitution currently authorizes the legislature to allow certain types of gaming in the city of Deadwood: roulette, keno, craps, limited card games, and slot machines. This constitutional amendment authorizes the legislature to also include wagering on sporting events as a type of gaming allowed in Deadwood. Under federal law, any gaming authorized by the legislature to be offered in Deadwood would also be allowed at on-reservation tribal casinos upon amendments to current tribal gaming compacts. Vote ‘Yes’ to adopt the amendment. Vote “No” to leave the constitution as it is.

In March the legislature approved a bill demanding a referendum. On March 30 the legislature ended its session.

Tennessee

CASINOS: In the fiscal year 2019-20 which ended June 30 the Tennessee Lottery set a record $1.84 billion in revenues. The proceeds from the lottery generated $438.2 million for the state education fund.

The Lottery hired Danielle Boyd as vice president of sports gaming operations just days after Jennifer Roberts announced that she was leaving as the sports gaming regulation director for the lottery. Boyd comes from William Hill, U.S.A., to Tennessee where she has been head of government relations for two years. Prior to that, she had been overseeing the West Virginia Lottery’s general counsel for nearly seven years but resigned shortly after the state legalised sports betting in 2018.

On her Twitter account, Roberts announced that June 26 was her last day with the Tennessee Lottery as director of sports gaming regulation. She joins the Las Vegas-based GameCo as vice-president / general counsel starting July 1. As of Dec. 2 Roberts had been with the Tennessee Lottery.

IGT (International Game Technology) recently announced a two year extension of its contract with Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation until June 2027. As part of the deal, IGT will update the loyalty website and mobile app for the lottery, which will include new player comfort features, according to a news release.

There are no casinos in Tennessee but they are getting closer to an all-mobile sports betting market. Sports betting rules were approved by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation on April 15, but they contain a contentious 10 percent lock. The state hopes athletes will bet up and run as athletes return. The state is under an order of stay-at-home until May.

Congress: Congress recessed at least until June 1, on March 19.

Texas

CASINOS: Retama Park and Sam Houston Race Park re-opened by Penn National.

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Texas Supreme Court on May 8 sent a case back to a lower court concerning the town of Fort Worth and owners of eight-line gaming machines. The Supreme Court ordered the Fort Worth Second Court of Appeals to determine the lawfulness and constitutionality of the machines.

The State’s tribal casinos formally closed. A stay-at – home policy running through April has come to an end, but some counties have extended closures.

LEGISLATURE: In 2020, was not in session. This meets in strange-numbered years.

Utah

CASINOS: Utah is without casinos. The State bans gambling.

LEGISLATURE: Legislative session closed on 13 March.

Vermont

CASINOS: Vermont is without casinos.

LEGISLATURE: According to media reports, the Senate passed legislation Wednesday creating a committee to study how the state could tax and regulate sports betting in Vermont. SB 59 is now going to consideration in the Building. At the end of June, the legislature is to adjourn.

The stay-at – home order of the state ended May 15 but until June 15, Gov. Phil Scott kept an emergency state in place. The senate convened by phone on 24 March, and the house had a nominal session on 24 March. Further sessions can be postponed for the time being. Japan also passed a sports betting bill.

Virginia

CASINOS: The state started a public comment period at a meeting of the Lottery Board about the sports betting regulations which were issued. The period of public comment continues until 9 Sept. July 1 came into force the State law legalising sports betting. According to the timetable on the lottery website, rules will be released after the comment period in mid-September. When the bill went in, Del. Mark Sickles, who represents the 43rd District and sponsored the House bill, said it would be “great to have before college football and the NFL seasons, but I think we’ll be lucky to have it by the Super Bowl, much less by the NFL season.” That falls in line with the lottery’s timetable, as it has 90 days to approve the operators who apply, which puts the process into December. In the segment on the state lottery website “FAQs On Virginia Sports Betting” one of the questions was “When will I be able to place a legal sports bet? “The answer: ‘Legal sports betting will not be legal in Virginia will not be available before mid-to-late December 2020, at the earliest.”  This is more likely to be early in 2021.

Mega Millions, Powerball, Cash4Life and more instant-win games became available online in Virginia on July 1, according to media reports, the lottery reported. This is the seventh state to have online lottery games.

Late May, the city of Bristol reached consensus on Hard Rock International being its preferred partner on a casino deal. Bristol residents would need to pass a November referendum to approve a casino. Bristol, along with Richmond, Danville, Portsmouth and Norfolk, is one of five Virginia cities authorised to receive casino voter approval.

According to a press release, IGT (International Game Technology) announced April 28 that it has signed a six-year deal with Virginia Lottery to provide Scratcher tickets, strategic planning, and services. Under the deal, for the first time in Virginia, IGT will become the principal vendor for instant ticket sports. The deal is expected to run until June 30th, 2026.

LEGISLATURE: Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City County, proposed his bill to allow lottery purchases online at a gaming subcommittee meeting in January.

Washington

CASINOS: According to its website, the Skagit Valley Casino, owned and run by the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, reopened 24 June with improved security and social distance controls. In the new rules — capacity will be 30 percent, visitors will have to wear masks and undergo temperature checks when entering and table games will be locked.

According to its website, the Snoqualmie Casino close to Seattle reopened on June 11 with new health and social distance guidelines in place.

According to its website the Swinomish Casino & Lodge in Anacortes opened May 28. According to the Bellingham Herald, the Silver Reef Casino Resort in Frendale reopened May 21 to Lummi Nation leaders and to the public on May 22.

The Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek Casino reopened May 26, announced by the Tulalip Tribes on the casinos’ website. It included new guidance related to health and safety.

According to media accounts, three other tribal casinos reopened May 18—Emerald Queen, Little Creek in Shelton and Nisqually Red Wind in Olympia. They had health and social remoteness measures in place.

According to an article in The Seattle Times, the Angel of the Winds Casino Resort at Arlington, owned by the Stillaguamish Tribe, reopened May 13. It is the first casino to reopen in western Washington since a stay-at – home order was placed in place in the state in March.

The casino put in place new health and social-distancing measures as part of the reopening. According to The Times, one of the proposed improvements is a requirement that all visitors have a cellphone to use as part of check-in.

The Angel of the Winds Casino Resort has recently revealed on its social media pages that the casino will be smoke-free. It said it would be the State’s first smoke-free casino.

According to both casinos’ websites, Northern Quest Resort and Casino near Spokane and Kalispel Casino in Cusick, run by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, reopened May 5.

State orders are not binding upon the tribes. The tribal casinos fund many operations of tribal government, and have thousands of employees, the Associated Press reports.

LEGISLATURE: Legislative session concluded on 13 March. The senate passed legislation in the tribal casinos earlier this month to allow sports betting and Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law on March 25. In doing so, Washington became the twenty-first state with legal sports betting (plus Washington , D.C. and Puerto Rico) and the first to sign the law in 2020.

West Virginia

CASINOS: Charles Town Races’ Hollywood Casino & Inn, Nitro’s Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack, Hancock County’s Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, and White Sulphur Springs’ Greenbrier reopened on 5 June under strict guidelines for health and social distance.

Small retailers of video lottery began reopening May 30.

Sportsbooks from West Virginia took $2,965,302 for the duration from March 29 through May 1. West Virginia reports regularly on her statistics. The weekend ending May 2 saw $1,063,604 in sports betting handle, double the amount in each of the previous four weeks, obviously helped by NFL betting on the draft that week.

LEGISLATURE: According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, IGaming could begin by the end of July. The state had been looking to move quickly on iGaming and the emergency rules were approved by the lottery commission on April 29. In May, West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said to Gambling.com: “We are currently working closely with our casino partners and Gaming Labs International in developing our minimum internal controls. Our plan is to have those ready for commission approval in June and that would allow our operators to begin when they are ready to make an application and receive licencing approval.”

The rules will allow for the use of smartphone devices for video poker and other casino-style games. The provisional rules will be replaced by permanent rules that are scheduled to be tabled by the legislature during the regular session of 2021 in the fall for review. The current legislative session is drawing to a close.

Wisconsin

CASINOS: State casinos, with improved security measures in place, started reopening May 26, according to media news, including the Oneida Casino and the North Star Mohican Casino. Casino resort Menominee opened May 27. The Ho-Chunk Nation reopened casinos on June 3 in Camden, and on June 16 in Nekoosa. According to media sources, the tribe also announced plans to reopen casinos in Wisconsin Dells, Black River Falls and Wittenberg on 29 June.

LEGISLATURE: Voters voted April 7 in Wisconsin’s presidential primary, despite legal challenges to the state and the U.S. Supreme Tribunals. Regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Tony Evers had tried to delay primary until June 9.

Polling sites have been streamlined and updated to meet the key criteria for social distancing. Votes will not be reckoned until April 13 at least.

The assembly concluded its session while the last Senate convened on 24 March.

Wyoming

CASINOS: On March 16, the Northern Arapaho Tribe closed their casinos indefinitely. The Eastern Shoshone Tribe closed their casino, too.

LEGISLATURE: The session of the legislative budget concluded on 12 March.